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The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama  |  20 April 1957 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 5,139 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 24 critic

Charles 'Slim' Lindbergh struggles to finance and design an airplane that will make his New York to Paris flight the first solo transatlantic crossing.

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(book), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Bud Gurney
Patricia Smith ...
Mirror Girl
Bartlett Robinson ...
Benjamin Frank Mahoney, President Ryan Airlines Co.
Marc Connelly ...
Father Hussman
Arthur Space ...
Donald Hall, Chief Engineer Ryan Airlines
Charles Watts ...
O.W. Schultz, Salesman Atlas Suspender Co.
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Storyline

Biography of Charles Lindburgh from his days of precarious mail runs in aviation's infancy to his design of a small transatlantic plane and the vicissitudes of its takeoff and epochal flight from New York to Paris in 1927. Written by Paul Emmons <pemmons@wcupa.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One of the Great Adventures of Our Time ! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 April 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lindbergh - Mein Flug über den Ozean  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)|

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the film received bad notices from preview audiences, it was extensively re-edited with some new footage shot. Composer Franz Waxman was no longer available so veteran film composer Roy Webb was hired along with Warner Brothers Music Director Ray Heindorf to come up with new cues based on Waxman's original material. The Main Title was altered to add "La Marseillaise" to the tail end. Other cues were rewritten, especially the entire buildup to and including the landing at Le Bourget. This sequence had been more straight forward with Lindbergh landing his plane. In the revised version, he became disoriented and at one point asked for God's help. The Heindorf/Webb replacement cue utilized Waxman's themes interwoven into a stunning cue which was expertly conducted by Heindorf. The cue ends as Lindbergh shuts off the engine. All-in-all, about fifteen minutes of new music was mixed into the final film. See more »

Goofs

While training the priest to fly, two trees stand in the middle of the field. These same trees are seen in the middle of the field when Lindbergh takes off for Paris. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Reporter: [checking his copy] Here at the Garden City Hotel, less than a mile from Roosevelt Field... less than three-quarters of a mile from Roosevelt Field... everyone is waiting, as they have been now for seven days and nights, waiting for the rain to stop...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Billy Wilder Speaks (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(uncredited)
Music by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Arranged by Franz Waxman
Played briefly during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A pleasant surprise
11 May 2000 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

Coming across this on a tour through the works of Billy Wilder, I was prepared to be underwhelmed- possibly self-serving autobiography, possibly boring Jimmy Stewart, but I came out quite impressed.

Most surprising of all was the way that Wilder kept things moving- from the framework of the flight of the Spirit of St. Louis we cut away to various bits of back story. Some tell us about the preparation of the voyage- of the skull-sweat and innovations required to make this plane. (The plane seems so primitive- no radio, or radar- and yet, we can appreciate what a wonderful technological marvel it was) Some of the flashbacks are almost just comic relief, but they all tend to serve the story well.

As for the voyage itself, we get an excellent presentation of how to find the dramatic possibilities of a long (over thirty hours!) flight. The scenes detailing Lindbergh's exhaustion are exquisite, and we feel an almost eerie high as Stewart forces himself through.

Jimmy Stewart was humble and folksy as always, but outside the range of hokiness. During a long solo flight when he has no one else to act to, we are sucked in to the tiny world of the plane's cockpit.

Thus, overall, a very enjoyable experience- going way beyond the meagre expectations I had going in. One slight complaint is that the videotape that I watched had a jarring pan-and-scan that really seemed to subtract from the composition of a lot of shots. But what can you do?

1957, colour. Rating: 6 out of 10 (above average).


5 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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